The Coalition of Progressive Electors denounces attacks made on Trish Kelly in response to her performance in a sex-positive video.
This is not the first time women’s personal lives, bodies, and sexuality have been unnecessarily dragged into the discussion and made to overshadow their politics, and that is unacceptable. It is already difficult enough for women to participate as candidates, and women should not be bullied out of an election race.
The bullying and additional scrutiny that women candidates face is sexist and reinforces the huge disparity between men and women in politics at all levels. In municipal governments across Canada, on average, only 26% of City Councillors are women.
In Vancouver specifically, we have never had a female mayor or a majority of women on Council. Provincially, women don’t fare much better, filling only 35% of the seats in the BC legislature. We must do all that we can to rectify these disparities, rather than allow female candidates to be publically shamed and further marginalized.
People of all political parties and all genders must be especially vigilant to ensure that politics is an open and safe space for women and other non-male identified participants.
We all have to support women, and other marginalized groups, in running for office. We must collectively take a strong stand against personal, gendered, and misogynistic attacks on their candidacy. We must stand together against all forms of discrimination and bullying. Only then can we work towards creating a government that truly represents the diversity of our city.